Canada has the 10th largest economy in the world and is one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) is about 1432,140 Billion USD. It is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Group of Seven (G7).
The Canadian economy is dominated by the service industry (this includes companies in the retail, transport, distribution, accounting, legal, IT and food services) which employs about 3/4 of all Canadians. This is common for countries with a developed economy.
Canada is unusual among developed countries in the importance of the primary sector, with the logging and oil industries being two of Canada’s most important. Mining is also an important commodity in the Canadian economy – Canada is the world’s largest producer of zinc, uranium, potassium, cadmium, sulfur and nickel.
Canada also has a large manufacturing sector, based in Central Canada (mostly Ontario), with the automobile industry and aircraft industry being especially important.
The Canadian economy is heavy reliant on its trade relationship with the United States. Canada is currently the 2nd largest goods trading partner with the United States (approximately $575 billion USD in goods traded between the countries during 2015).
The Canada economy’s 3 main types of industries.
Service: which includes jobs in:
- health care
- retail services
Manufacturing: which makes products, such as:
- high technology equipment
- aerospace technology
- many other goods
Natural resources: which includes jobs in:
The major stock exchange in Canada is the Toronto Stock Exchange and it is one of the world’s largest exchanges (ranked 9th in the world by market capitalization). As of 2012, there were over 1,500 companies listed on the TSE with a combined market capitalization of almost 2 trillion dollars CDN.
The 15 Most Profitable Publicly Traded Companies in Canada in 2016 were as follows:
- Royal Bank of Canada
- Toronto-Dominion Bank
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Bank of Montreal
- Canadian National Railway Co.
- Brookfield Asset Management Inc.
- BCE Inc.
- Great-West Lifeco Inc.
- Magna International Inc.
- Manulife Financial Corp.
- Power Financial Corp.
- Sun Life Financial Inc.
- Power Corp. of Canada
- Thomson Reuters Corp.
Source: Canadian Business
Canada has three levels of government:
- provincial or territorial; and
The federal government is based in Ottawa, the nation’s capital. The Prime Minister heads the federal government. The federal government deals with national and international matters.
SPOTLIGHT: Who is Justin Trudeau?
Born on December 25, 1971, Justin Trudeau became the 23rd Prime Minister of Canada in 2015. Trudeau is the son of Pierre Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minster of Canada. Trudeau has made a name for himself internationally for his pro-immigration policies (inviting over 25,000 Syrian refugees to immigrate to Canada), support of Aboriginal communities and his commitment to environmentalism. He is a self-described feminist and ensured that his cabinet had equal seats for men and women.
SPOTLIGHT: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Enacted by current Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees certain political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights of everyone in Canada from the policies and actions of all areas and levels of the government. The Charter, as it is commonly called, is designed to unify Canadians around a set of principles that embody those rights.
The rights include freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of expression, the right to vote for all persons, equality rights, the right to life, liberty, and security of the person.
Provincial and territorial governments
The provincial and territorial governments have the power to change their laws and manage their own public lands. Their responsibilities include:
- health care; and
- road regulations.
A Premier leads each province and territory.
SPOTLIGHT: Provincial Nominee Programs
Each province and territory has the right to invite a specified number of people to immigrate to Canada that have the intention to live in their province. These programs make up the 60+ Canadian Immigration Programs and are an excellent pathway to Permanent Residency in addition to the Federal Express Entry Program.
This is the level of government that governs a city, town or district (a municipality). Municipal governments are responsible for things, such as:
- public transportation
- fire protection
- local police
- local land use
- community water systems
Mayors lead municipal governments.